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Grass-fed beef from Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown, MD?

Has anyone out there had any experience with ordering/buying grass-fed beef from Hedgeapple Farm in Buckeystown, MD? I am considering ordering a rib roast from them for Christmas this year, and wanted to see if there were any success stories/cautionary tales out there before I made such a big commitment.

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  1. i have not tried Hedgeapple, but I'll vouch for the grass fed beef from Springfield Farms north of Baltimore.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JonParker

      Thanks for the recommendation! They didn't come up when I was originally searching for grass-fed options around DC - I am pleased that there is more than one option.

    2. I don't know about Hedgeapple, but I will mention that grass-fed cattle tend to have marbling that is less noticeable than cattle that have been finished in a feed lot, but what marbling there is on a free range steak tends to be yellowish rather than off white, and that isn't a bad thing, it is just different. Not sure if that will be as noticeable on a roast. They also tend to be a bit leaner so cook it a touch less or at a slightly lower temperature. They can be a bit chewier than feed lot beef, too, but it is worth it.
      I am kind of curious to hear about how your Hedgeapple rib roast turns out, I haven't had free range or grass-fed beef since I visited Montana last July.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ziv

        Thank you for the advice. I've never cooked a grass-fed roast before, so this will be a new experience. I will certainly update on how everything went after the holiday!

        1. re: SarahRuth

          Our neighbors swear by this place and go regularly. I look forward to trying it.

      2. Post-Christmas Update: The Hedgeapple grass-fed standing rib roast was absolutely phenomenal - tender, moist, flavorful. I was working with a big pice of meat (6 ribs / 12 lbs) and was worried that it would dry out, but didn't need to. 30 mins at 450, and 11ish minutes per pound after that (as well as a very accurate meat thermometer that came with the roast!) did the trick wonderfully. Overall, it was a terrific experience. I definitely plan to go back for more next year!

        8 Replies
        1. re: SarahRuth

          FYI, I got an excellent organic grass fed standing rib roast for Christmas from Stonyman Farms, which sells out of the Bethesda Women's Coop. All of their beef, as well as the bacon, eggs and cheese, are locally and sustainably raised, and the meat is sold fresh not frozen. Another place you can get good organic pasture raised beef, pork and turkey is South Mountain Creamery in Middletown. Of course they sell great milk too.

          1. re: Ellen

            South Mountain Creamery meats are are not pastured, grass fed or organic. See: http://www.southmountaincreamery.com/...

            They claim their herd is not treated with "unneeded" antibiotics. What producer would claim to use unneeded antibiotics. I was also dissapointed to learn that they use High Fructose Corn Syrup in their yogurts. Not to say that I don't enjoy some of their products. I just think one should be an informed consumer.

            1. re: jfish

              Actually the conventional industrail meat industry uses sub theraputic doses of antibiotics to speed growth, Sub theraputic doses are unneeded so it seems that vast majority of our beef today has unneeded antibiotics.

              1. re: jfish

                According to the website you refer to, their beef is pasture raised and grass makes up 97% of what their cows eat. They do get some corn silage in the winter. That's going to be the case for most "grass fed" cattle in the winter. Still much preferable to what is available in the supermarket. You're right, they don't say anything about organic on the website. So both of us could be better informed. And I am not aware of any farm that rules out antibiotics entirely if an animal gets sick and needs them. This issue is, as Dean Gold correctly points out, the use of antibiotics as a preventive measure in CAFOs, where factory conditions expose animals to pathogens on an overwhelming level. Thus, I'll continue to buy meat and milk from SMC. It is vastly preferable (and tastier) than comparable industrially produced products.

                1. re: Ellen

                  I agree that SMC product is preferable to industrial produced product. I am just saying that an informed consumer has choices. Springfield Farm and Ruth Anne's Garden Beef are both local small scale operations that never use antibiotics. Ruth Anne's does not include grain in the feed and Springfield Farm has grass-fed as an option. SMC gives their cows an options, From their web: Are you Organic?:
                  NO, we follow traditional farming methods. We follow many of the same practices as organic farmers, such as we do not give our animals growth hormones or unnessesary antibiotics and we do not use pesticides on our fields. We give our cows free of choice feeding, which means they have a feed bunk in the barn, which has a mixture of corn, hays, soybeans, and minerals that they can eat from, or they have access to pasture where they can graze. What the cows are fed here, is raised here. We also work closely with local soil conversation groups to preserve the soil, and prevent soil errosion. We have many projects that we are working on regarding green energy, such as a methane digester (converting cow manure to electricity) and bio-diesel (converting soybeans to fuel) ."

                  1. re: jfish

                    To quote you:
                    "South Mountain Creamery meats are are not pastured, grass fed or organic. "

                    According to their website they are both pastured and 97% percent of their feed is grass. You were correct that they are not strictly organic although they seek to utilize sustainable agricultural practices. Works for me. In the instance of SMC I was originally going on what someone who worked in their retail store said in response to my questions about organic, pasture raised and grass fed. I hadn't gone through their website with such a fine tooth comb. If the cows have a choice, they, as will most animals aside from humans and dogs, eat what is best for them. If that includes a small amount of grains and trace minerals available at will in addition to plentiful grass and hay, that is good practice that should not take away from the quality or desirability of their grass fed, pastured and sustainably (as opposed to organically) raised products.

                    1. re: Ellen

                      Okay. I give. I think it laudable to get to know and trust those who produce the food we eat. In the case of SMC, I'm not quite there, I respect that you feel otherwise.

            2. re: SarahRuth

              Sarah Ruth, glad to hear it turned out so well! I am a huge fan of free range beef vs. feed lot beef. I am wondering if either you or Ellen have tried anything from South Mtn Creamery? I followed the link and it sounds phenomenal, about as close to free range as dairy can get, but the extra choices, from cheese to meat to eggs to bread, sound outstanding. I am thinking about setting up an account, but would love to hear if any of you have had better experiences with other traditional type of farms that deliver product to my door. I put in links to pictures of my Mom's place, gives you an idea of what a good bit of range looks like. And Buddy, too! The cattle wouldn't know what to do without him!
              Thanks for any info!